In new findings in a study published Monday for the New England Journal of Medicine, the Mediterranean Diet is a new eating plan based upon the eating habits of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
The plan does not require dieters to buy special foods, but rather entails adhering to a simple shopping list of accepted foods. The diet has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease including heart attacks and strokes and has been associated with a lower level of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Not to mention, drinking wine is not only acceptable but encouraged on the plan, with five ounces daily suggested for women and no more than 10 for men during dinner. Plus, the diet has worked for the likes of Penelope Cruz and Brooke Burke.
Now that you need no more convincing, here is your new grocery store shopping list along with suggested meal ideas and plans for the Mediterranean Diet.
· nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts)
· extra-virgin olive oil
· fruit (apples, cherries, dates, peaches, grapefruit, melon, strawberries)
· vegetables (artichokes, eggplant, celery, broccoli, onion, peas, peppers, sweet potatoes, lettuce, mushrooms, tomatoes)
· fatty fish (oysters, shrimp, salmon, squid, mackerel, mussels, tuna, lobster, tilapia, salmon, flounder) OR poultry (chicken or turkey)
Beverages: any calorie-free drinks including water, flavored seltzer, diet iced tea (with or without a lemon wedge) or diet soda. The diet says to not exceed three cups of (regular, caffeinated) coffee a day or four cups of (regular, caffeinated) tea each day.
Substituting: According to Good Housekeeping, you can switch ingredients that you dislike as long as you adhere to a similar calorie count as deemed by the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.
Limit: red meats, dairy, sugary soft drinks, fruit juices, butter, vegetable oil, margarine, eggs, sweets, processed foods, anything with added sugar, grains that are not whole wheat.
MEAL PLAN POSSIBILITIES AND IDEAS
Pancakes (made using low-fat yogurt, egg and whole-wheat pancake mix, 1 cup of milk and a serving of fruit
Parfait (low-fat yogurt, fruit, granola)
Peanut butter bagel, serving of milk and fruit
Cereal (non-sweetened) with a cup of milk and serving of fruit
Chickpea Salad (chickpeas, olive oil, onion, green pepper, black olives, pepper, romaine lettuce and white wine vinegar)
Vegetable pot pie
Turkey and artichoke sandwich (whole-wheat bread, light mayonnaise, artichokes, reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, turkey breast) and a serving of vegetables.
Pita sandwich (yogurt, cucumber, garlic, tomatoes, string beans)
Pizza and salad (thin crust vegetable topping pizza)
Veggie burger and side salad
Tuna pasta (whole-wheat pasta, tuna, mayonnaise, bell peppers and onion)
Dinner (the Mediterranean Diet allows one glass of wine for women, or two for men, during dinner daily):
Chicken kabobs (chicken breast, fat-free Italian dressing, onion, green pepper, tomatoes, whole-wheat pita pocket with hummus) and serving of fruit
Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwich and a serving of fruit
Grilled sea bass and a serving of fruit/vegetables
Lamb souvlaki with couscous or rice
Shrimp salad (shrimp, vinegar, lemon juice, basil, romaine lettuce)
Grilled chicken with Greek salad
Grilled Halibut with brown rice
Spinach feta flatbread (whole-wheat pita, feta cheese, spinach leaves, scallion, lemon juice, red onion, zucchini, dressing and toasted pine nuts)
Scallops and orzo
Crackers, hummus, serving of fruit
Vegetables and dip (fat-free sour cream, chives, zucchini, bell peppers and garlic cloves)
Fruit smoothie (with fruit, fresh juice and light yogurt)
Pita with ricotta spread
Peanut butter and crackers
For recipes and meal ideas, visit Good Housekeeping for more options.